So Not A Hero focuses on former villain Crushette or Karen Hashimoto who is paroled from prison after two years behind bars. When we are introduced to her its six month’s after she’s free and is being kicked out of her apartment because the landlady learned the truth about her. After helping a local superhero, she finds herself with an offer of joining the Good Guy’s, to be part of the other side of the law. All this former villain wants is to be left alone, but even more so, she doesn’t want her former evil villain ex boyfriend learning that she has completely changed her ways.
The basic plot for this book is good, the concept is interesting and if this was a comic I would most likely read it and see how it goes.
Sadly, this book is rather flat and bland. There are good moments, Karen’s growth at the start of the book where she helps some homeless people is interesting and her background in general is what keeps your in suspence. Yet the author put’s the whole titalation view in there, there is a lot of tits and ass on display, a lot of rape comments and mentions from the villains that Karen fights and it’s rather problematic. Every villain Karen fights against makes comments about her body in some way, or how much they are ‘going to make her pay’ and things of that nature, all referring to using her body.
While that is a major problem within the book, the characters are interesting enough, it would have been better if there could have been a bit more focus on some of them like Omega-Girl who becomes Karen’s frenemy, Alexis who seems to be loosely based off of Kitty Pryde from the X-Men and even Doctor Maniac who seems like he needs his own time to properly shine in regards to becoming a more rounded character. In all honesty apart from when Karen talks about him to the reader, we don’t really see him that much in the book, but you know he’s rather twisted, that he doesn’t tolerate traitors and he’ll get what he wants. There is also a character at the very start of the book that seems to just be thrown away after a chapter or two, which surprised me since Karen did have a past connection with him, she made no point to try and see where he went off to, or to find out how the homeless people were getting on later on. It was just dropped like it was nothing and a mere stepping stone to her evolution to being a superhero.
And clearly from the title of the book it’s focusing on Karen trying to become a proper hero, and the team that she joins trying to understand her and let go of the grudges they have against her. For some it’s easier because there is nothing personal about it, for other’s it’s harder because there is something in the way.
The conclusion wasn’t really a surprise, you could figure out who the villain of the story was near the start, although for a moment you did have to guess a little bit before you got a rough idea.
Karen’s love interest is bland, just too perfect to seem real and although this clearly to try and counter Karen’s own personal problems, it doesn’t work well for a proper relationship. A one night stand possible, but not an actual relationship.
Although it’s problematic and there is a sex scene that is very much out of place, it is a rather decent book and enjoyable – just acknowledge that there is problematic moments within the book.